The Noughties

The Archbishop of  Canterbury  hit the nail on the head when he surmised that for most people the last ten years had been difficult in more ways than one.  Whilst attending a function the other evening the audience was addressed, as is the custom, as ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ but recollecting my own experiences of the ‘noughties’ they were a dying breed, people with manners and standards who knew how to behave and conduct themselves whilst in company and in business.

I seem to have been surrounded especially in the latter years of living in France by the most appalling behaviour, double standards and downright dishonesty.  I’ve witnessed first hand theft, vigorously denied as they all closed ranks on the newcomers. I’ve felt the brunt of French bureaucracy as blatant corruption is allowed to pass unchallenged and I’ve been at the forefront and felt the most depressing apathy and disinterest as people turn their backs unless it benefitted them personally.   It was summed up eloquently for me though as these same old hypocrites smugly living their boring narrow lives picked over my belongings like vultures on an old carcass, items carefully put aside for a charity that benefitted people less fortunate and yet through lack of time the scavengers spied their opportunity and swooped.  It was a depressing experience and yet I shall view it as a learning curve, there is no other way or else you would sink to the same level as those who delight in taking and give nothing in return to enrich the environment they live in.  May they rot in their own greed and corruption.

I always like to receive a little mail, makes you feel loved, wanted and appreciated doesn’t it ?although when hate mail arrives directed specifically at the contents of your Blog Spot its time to take a stand and answer your critics back.  It’s the easiest exercise to sit and scorn others isn’t it? It seems to be the norm that you can abuse at will and that it is acceptable behaviour.  It isn’t.  If you don’t like what I write then you should take your sourness over to a dark corner and search your own soul for your shortcomings and do not bother to visit my mostly cheery sunny little spot where I am very happy and contented thank you and minding my own business.  I suggest you do the same.

Oh and one last thing whilst I am at it.  I must extend a special ‘thank you’ to my dinner guest who came round the other night carrying the filthiest cold imaginable and sniffing his way unattractively throughout the evening.  When I questioned his politeness of inflicting his gross germs on the other innocent and healthy guests I was met with an incredulous look that implied that I was the rude one.

I think not.

Happy 2010 albeit with a stinking cold. x


Frances said…
Good morning and Happy New Year to you, Sally!

May this year bring all of us new and wonderful experiences, while allowing us to keep all that we do love from the past. What a wish, eh? I make it every January with fingers crossed, and see what happens.

Best to you. xo
Pondside said…
Over here, the papers have taken to describing every felon, rapist and fraud artist as a 'gentleman' - I cringe.
There are so many more of us that love what you write and the photos that you post - we wait to see the notice pop up that you've blogged. The others are most certainly jealous of your get-up-and-go!
ChrisH said…
Yep, I second Pondside's comments. Happy New Year to you, Sally - just ignore the detractors.
muddyboots said…
l am with you on this one Sally, where on earth are good manners and politeness?
Ange said…
Apart from good manners and politeness - neither can I find much plain common sense let alone personal ETHICS. YOu are the only person (other than myself, and it took me a while to get up the courage again to do so - once my first 5 year's here had passed by) who has had the forthrightness to stand up and speak out! YOU ARE RIGHT - if only you knew what we were going through with the sale of our house (actually, I think you do). Likely to be the subject of a new blog that could get me into trouble - I don't feel like changing the names to protect those involved !!

However, I have found that many people here cover their APATHY etc as you so aptly call it under a cover of good manners and understanding...
Last year I cracked and can no longer stand for it. While keeping my vocabulary polite - I have refused to accept lies, corruption and basic cowardice, what ever situation I'm in. Rather be burned at the stake! This has caused a few relationship hassles - as I won't stand for it in a professional situation either... But surprisingly - I'm winning more friends than I've lost!

GOOD ON YOU SALLY for speaking out - behind you all the way. And if I ever pop down for dinner, I shall most certainly not bring a stinking cod - although I may be tempted to offer you sushi ;-)

Well done!!
And BONNE ANNEE to you!
Ange said…
euh - I meant COLD but didn't finish the pun in the sentence properly ;-)
Thomas said…
As always a beautifully written piece! Here's to many, many more. All the very best for your new ventures this year. I have one maxim that I live by - when having to confront my daily actions, when I put my head on the pillow at night will my conscience be clear?
LittleBrownDog said…
Oh, Sally, it's not just France - there are hypocrites and muck-spreaders (not to mention germ-spreaders) on this side of the Channel, too - just continue to hold your head high and remain true to your principles. I know how hard it is to speak out in the face of dissent and closed ranks - I really admire you for sticking to your guns. Your blogs are a real ray of sunshine - don't let the b*st*rds get you down, and here's to a cracking 2010. xoxoxox
Jenny Holden said…
Let's hope that the "Teens" bring better things for us all. Happy New Year!
Louise said…
Sally, don't become disenfranchised with France too quickly, it's not them, it's the new way of living and it's worse in the UK. Suffocating risk aversion, health and safety gone mad (except, of course, in the matter of visitors with colds!) and an in-turning of focus: mortgage, insurance, security over social connection and morals.

It's not pretty and I hope it will change. It looks as though we're in for a shock with climate change sooner than we have been expecting, and that's going to make us think about life values. Trouble is, there are two ways to turn, and I'm not sure that the bigger picture will win out over scrabbling for the last of the resources.

Louise x
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mpprh said…
Sally Meldrew lives !
Sallys Chateau said…
mpprh Oh come on, you know I'm just a little ray of sunshine really ! ;)

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